WOLF PACK GAME RECAP - Springfield Thunderbirds 5, Hartford Wolf Pack
Springfield Thunderbirds 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Springfield, MA - The Hartford Wolf Pack finished their 2016-17 twentieth-anniversary season with a 5-1 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.
The Wolf Pack completed the year with a total mark of 24-46-4-2 for 54 points.
Chris Brown had the only Wolf Pack goal Saturday, on a second-period power play. Mackenzie Weegar had a goal and two assists for Springfield, and Jared McCann and Paul Thompson had a goal and an assist apiece.
Springfield got the only goal of the first period, a tally by Weegar at 6:42. McCann spun away from the Wolf Pack's Malte Stromwall in the right-wing circle and passed across the slot to a wide-open Weegar, whose quick shot easily beat Hartford goaltender Chris Nell (29 saves).
The Thunderbirds doubled their lead 1:26 into the second period, with McCann scoring his 11th of the season. After Weegar fed the puck toward the front of the net, Nell stopped a close-in bid by Thompson, but McCann was unchecked going after the rebound, and he buried it from point-blank range.
The Wolf Pack were awarded the first power play of the game at 14:56, on a hooking call against Stephen MacAulay, and both teams would score during the man advantage.
Anthony Greco bagged a shorthanded goal at 15:35 to make it 3-0 Springfield, on a breakaway. Mike Downing knocked a Vince Pedrie pass out of the air to send Greco in alone, and his shot beat Nell to the stick side.
Only 41 seconds later, though, at 16:16, a Brown power-play score put the Wolf Pack on the board. Michael Paliotta sent the puck toward the net from the right point, and Brown, facing toward center ice, deflected it past Thunderbird goaltender Adam Wilcox (23 saves) from in front of the net.
Springfield would widen the gap back to three, however, on their first power play of the game, with only 5.1 seconds left in the period. With Pedrie off for hooking, Chase Balisy won a draw in the Wolf Pack end to Weegar, who handed to Dryden Hunt in the left circle. Hunt's shot hit Thompson, who was tied up with Ryan Graves to Nell's left, and deflected into the net.
Up 4-1 after two, the Thunderbirds would get the only goal of the third period at 10:10, on a power-play score by Jayce Hawryluk. With Graves in the penalty box for slashing, Hawryluk drove a shot from the right circle past Nell, through a screen set by Matt Buckles.
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Hartford Wolf Pack 1 at Springfield Thunderbirds 5 Saturday - MassMutual Center
Hartford 0 1 0 - 1 Springfield 1 3 1 - 5
1st Period-1, Springfield, Weegar 14 (Buckles, McCann), 6:42. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Springfield, McCann 11 (Thompson, Weegar), 1:26. 3, Springfield, Greco 16 (Downing), 15:35 (SH). 4, Hartford, Brown 14 (Paliotta, Gilmour), 16:16 (PP). 5, Springfield, Thompson 19 (Hunt, Weegar), 19:54 (PP). Penalties-MacAulay Spr (hooking), 14:56; McCoshen Spr (hooking), 17:24; Pedrie Hfd (hooking), 19:45.
3rd Period-6, Springfield, Hawryluk 9 (Schemitsch, Rau), 10:10 (PP). Penalties-Graves Hfd (slashing), 8:20; Greco Spr (slashing), 10:51; Lettieri Hfd (roughing), 13:06; Thompson Spr (slashing, roughing), 13:06.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-9-7-24. Springfield 6-15-13-34. Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Springfield 2 / 2. Goalies-Hartford, Nell 1-3-0 (34 shots-29 saves). Springfield, Wilcox 25-13-5 (24 shots-23 saves). A-6,217 Referees-Nick Gill (65). Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).
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